West Point recognizes 1ID.
By Staff Sgt. Eric Johnson, 1st Infantry Division
WEST POINT, New York – As the aroma of food from tailgaters propagated in the
parking lot and cadets, alums, and football fans filled up the bleachers of the historic
Michie stadium; the 1st Infantry Division was the Division of choice as the Black Knights
hosted the Georgia State Panthers on a brisk fall afternoon.
Brigadier General Knell was pleased to return to her alma mater as one of the 1992
alums and Deputy Commanding for the 1st Infantry Division.
“Just fantastic to be back here and represent our Division is great. My class reunion is
this weekend, and I’ve been excited about this for a couple of weeks. So, to be a
representative of the Division at your own Alma Mater is putting many great things
Getting into the United States Military Academy at West Point is a prestigious honor and
an outstanding achievement for those who are accepted. This is the case for Cadet
Jaelin Rainey, a former Big Red One Soldier who served with the 1st Combat Aviation
Brigade as a 15W, also known as a drone operator.
“It was awesome to come here and undergo basic training all over again. As soon as I
got to my company, I was able to use the experience I gained when I was with 1ID. In
addition, my prior military experience allowed me to help guide and mentor other Cadets
and provide them a different perspective on why we do things.” Said Rainey, Class of
“It is awesome to see the 1st Infantry Division being honored, and it means a lot to me
to see that the Academy truly care about what the other units are doing and to be able
to dedicate an entire football game to supporting that unit.”
Each week, the football team represents a different unit. Head coach Jeff Monken does
not take the honor lightly when a unit is represented on game day.
“For all of us to represent those men and women that serve in the Big Red One is a
great honor. A few years back, we wore the Big Red One on the uniform for the Army-
Navy game. So, I can assure you it’s a great source of pride for us and to not play in a way
that represents them as a disappointment,” said Monken.
From videos that played on the stadium’s scoreboard; from 1ID alums such as Brigadier
General Niave Knell running out with the team at the beginning of the game; and from
former enlisted 1ID Soldiers being current cadets at West Points, the 1st Infantry
Division was well represented despite the Black Knights losing the game.
“We always try to represent in the right way. Even though we did not come out with the
victory, we hope that we played hard, which is something that 1 ID is proud of.” Said
senior quarterback Tyhier Tyler.